Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Creepy Crawlies

We had just finished dinner and the kids were outside playing on the hammocks. I was washing the dishes when I heard Gabriel call to Mélanie asking, “ummm, Mummy, what is this?”. From the tone in his voice, I had a pretty good idea that I likely would need to be called to action but I let Mélanie head outside anyway (out of curiosity to see her reaction to the mystery that the children had just uncovered). A moment later, the desperate call for help came and I headed outside to witness the commotion.

The insect on the wall was big… really big.

To give you a sense of the size, here is Gabriel and Naimah proudly displaying their new friend. The thing is almost the size of Naimah’s fist!

Embarrassingly, we couldn’t even identify the species of insect, it was that big. Léah quickly raced to go get her Rain Forest book and we all thought that maybe it was a type of shield bug.

After the kids went to bed, I did some research on the Internet and came to the conclusion that it is a cockroach. Costa Rica is in the tropics which provides a wonderful environment for those critters with many, many legs (and they often grow much larger in these environments). There is an overwhelming number of insects and spiders here. Just the other day, Gabriel pointed out something attached to one of the windows in the house:


That’s a picture of a huge spider web filled with hundreds of baby spiders.

And the ants? Don’t even get us started on that topic. There are just too many of them and they are every size, every color, with wings, without wings…

All in all, kids love insects so they are in absolute heaven (except when it comes to the red fire ants; we all hate those).